Today in the liturgy, the day before Christmas Eve, we concentrate on the birth of John the Baptist. (Remeber how I talked a few days ago about the Catholic liturgy celebrating snippets of the Christmas story throughout the year? The Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist is June 24. A mini- pre-Christmas celebration in the summer!) In the first reading we see the prophecy from Malachi 3: “Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and terrible day, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” Remember, Jesus proclaimed that John the Baptist was Elijah.
In the Gospel reading from Luke 1, we see the story of the birth of John the Baptist. His father, Zechariah, was struck dumb by an angel for not believing what he had been told. After being asked what the boy would be named, Zechariah writes on a tablet, “John is his name.” The scripture then tells us “Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God.”
John was sent to “prepare the way of the Lord.” It strikes me that that is part of our job, too. As disciples, we must go to those who do not know the Lord, those who ignore Him or shut Him out of their lives, and prepare the way for Him to enter their lives and their hearts. How? By sharing our story. By telling others about the wondrous things that God has done for us! Zechariah “spoke blessing God.” When we bless God, we allow those blessings to spread to others.
Father, we bless your holy name! Help us to always speak blessings to you and to others. Amen.